Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Technology and Innovation by Ian Shaw

By Ian Shaw

This publication examines the basic facts for lots of diversified facets of swap and evolution in historical Egyptian expertise. It comprises dialogue of the broader cognitive and social contexts, resembling the Egyptian propensity for psychological creativity and innovation, and the speed of swap in Egypt compared to different African, Mediterranean and close to jap states.

This publication attracts not just on conventional archaeological and textual assets but additionally at the result of clinical analyses of old fabrics and on experimental and ethno-archaeological info. Case-studies examine these features of Egyptian society that made it both predisposed or actively against particular types of conservatism or innovation in fabric tradition, resembling the recommendations of stone-working, drugs, mummification and huge building. The publication additionally contains designated dialogue of the ways that the perform and improvement of Egyptian expertise interrelated with past due Bronze Age city society as a complete, utilizing town at Amarna as a case-study.

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According to Goody (1987: 298), ‘writing is a mechanism that permits us to change the format of our creative endeavours, the shape of our knowledge, our understanding of the world, and our activities within it’. A good ancient example of the latter was the gradual creation of canonical texts documenting religious rituals (such as the Edfu temple inscriptions in which the daily temple rituals are laboriously recorded, see Fairman 1954), which presumably contributed significantly to the degree of standardisation of state religion throughout Egypt, allowing the same rituals to be performed in different temples throughout the country.

Such crucial areas of culture as religion, law, administration and economics were hugely transformed and shaped by the ability to use writing, even if, as seems likely in the case of Egypt, the literate élite constituted a tiny minority of the population (see Baines and Eyre 1983). According to Goody (1987: 298), ‘writing is a mechanism that permits us to change the format of our creative endeavours, the shape of our knowledge, our understanding of the world, and our activities within it’. A good ancient example of the latter was the gradual creation of canonical texts documenting religious rituals (such as the Edfu temple inscriptions in which the daily temple rituals are laboriously recorded, see Fairman 1954), which presumably contributed significantly to the degree of standardisation of state religion throughout Egypt, allowing the same rituals to be performed in different temples throughout the country.

The priests used medications, dietary prescriptions and phlebotomy. ’ In the Ptolemaic period (332-30 bc) Greek forms of medicine appear to have been combined with those of the Egyptians, leading to a huge 44 4. Medicine, magic and pharmacy upsurge of medical knowledge in Alexandria in particular, evidently fuelled in part by royal patronage. Ptolemy II and III seem to have been particularly instrumental in providing bodies of criminals for vivisection, thus aiding the studies of anatomists such as Herophilus and Erasistratus (see Lloyd 1975, von Staden 1989 and Vallance 2000: 96-7), who were able to identify the nervous system and the blood-vascular system.

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